Friday, January 19, 2018

5 Steps to Cleaning and Protecting Your Car this Winter

BAY CITY, Mich. –– Safeguarding your vehicle's exterior and interior from the winter weather in Michigan is an almost impossible task. Snow, ice, slush, and corrosive road salt take a toll on your paint job, interior carpet, and other areas, causing damage, rust, and stains to occur. So while there is no perfect way to avoid the winter other than parking your car in the garage and waiting until spring to take it back out, there are 5 steps you can take to clean and protect your car this winter!

5 Steps to Cleaning and Protecting Your Car this Winter

1. Clean the Interior

The first step to protecting your vehicle from the elements this winter is to clean out the inside of your car. Remove any trash, wipe down the steering wheel and dashboard, and vacuum the seat and floor, especially the seat wells, to start your cleaning process off with a 'clean slate'. If you have a leather or vinyl interior, we recommend applying a conditioner guard to protect it from cracking or ripping, as the cold and dry winter air can pull the moisture out of the material. Ideally, the conditioner guard should be applied and allowed to dry before the freezing weather sets in or when the vehicle cabin is at a reasonably warm temperature.

2. Lay Floor Mats Down

Now that the floor and set wells in your vehicle are clean of salt, slush, rocks, and debris tracked in from outside, it's important to install floor mats in your car, especially underneath the driver's seat. Weather Tech Mats are the top product for catching and containing all the snow and such that clings to your boots when you enter a vehicle during the winter. It's important to not allow this snow and slush to soak into your floor carpet because the corrosive road salt in the slush will cause unsightly stains and corrode the metal floor underneath the carpet.

3. Get Car Washes Frequently

It is recommended that you get a car wash every two weeks during the winter, ideally on days when the temperature is 40 degrees or more, or at least above freezing.  Car washes will wash and clean your vehicle of road salt and other corrosive substances that will cause rust and paint chipping on the exterior of your vehicle.  Try to also get your car washes done during the daylight hours so that your vehicle has time to dry thoroughly in the sunlight and warmer temperatures. Also, make sure to get a car wash that cleans the undercarriage of your vehicle, an area of your car that is often forgotten but is exposed to the most amount of snow, slush, and road salt and therefore the most at risk for rusting.

4. Apply Wax to your Vehicle's Exterior

Wax or some kind of auto-exterior sealant is important to apply to your vehicle to safeguard its paint job this winter. Some car washes include a wax treatment otherwise you can purchase products from most auto supply or major grocery stores. Similar to a car wash, make sure you are applying the wax on a warmer day, at least above 32 degrees, and allow it to dry thoroughly in the sun.

5. Park in the Garage

If possible, make sure to park your vehicle in the garage every night all winter, or at least under some kind of overhang or cover.  Parking indoors will keep your vehicle protected from heavy snowfall or sleet as well as the freezing temperatures that will negatively affect your vehicle's internal components such as the battery, belts, hoses, and more.  If that's not an option, we recommend purchasing a weatherproof car cover for your vehicle to at least help shield it from the elements.

Follow these 5 steps to clean and protect your car this winter, and have your ride looking like new come springtime. We also want you to stay safe out on the road during the winter months of 2018, so we strongly recommend completing our Winter Car Care maintenance routine to help protect your vehicle's internal components from being damaged or disabled by the cold weather and poor road conditions.

Hank Graff Chevy
 is located at 3636 Wilder Road, Bay City, MI 48706 and we are here to help our community grow to become an even better place to call home! For more information on Hank Graff Chevrolet, or for any questions call us at (989) 684-4411 or visit our website:

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